Sussex County-More than 30 serious incidents involving bears occurred in northern New Jersey last month - just after complaints about the bruins had started to decline. Wildlife officials are setting traps in some locations to catch the worst offenders. The state Department of Environmental Protection defines a serious incident, called a Category 1 event, as one in which a bear has killed, damaged or posed a serious threat to people, pets, livestock or property. If these bears are trapped, they are automatically euthanized because past studies show such animals are often repeat offenders. Bears looking for food invaded tents and chased people at children's camps in West Milford on Aug. 2 and in Montague on Aug. 10. And the DEP fielded as many as 35 reports from Passaic, Morris, Sussex and Warren counties of home invasions by bears, and attacks on dogs and livestock pens, with caged rabbits and chickens particularly vulnerable.What's happening is that the breeding season is basically over and activity increases as they prepare for winter," Martin McHugh, director of the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife, told The Star-Ledger of Newark. "They're starting to feed for the winter. Also, cubs are getting older now, so the females are more mobile and increasing their range." Although there was a spike in Category 1 events in August, the overall number of bear complaints is still down from last year, McHugh said. He could not recall a month when there were more than 30 Category 1 complaints. There have been about 90 such incidents so far this year, compared with 148 for the same period last year. Between Jan. 1 and June 30, there were about 710 total bear complaints statewide, compared to 1,028 for the same period in 2003. Several bears already have been trapped and euthanized. Vernon Police Chief Roy Wherry said a bear has broken into homes in the Highland Lakes area about a dozen times recently. Animal rights groups, including the Bear Education And Research Group and the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance, oppose euthanizing and have urged property owners to refuse the state traps. They prefer that homeowners instead use bear-proof trash containers and remove items that may attract bears. New Jersey held its first bear hunt in 33 years last December. The state reported that 328 bears were killed, but that another 400 to 600 cubs were born in the spring. The state Fish and Game Council, which regulates hunting in New Jersey, recently authorized another hunt for this winter, but state Environmental Commission Bradley Campbell has said he is opposed to a hunt and would try to block it.The following is a list of bear incidents in Sussex County provided by Conservation Voice, a group of New Jersey citizens whose mission it is to educate the public about conservation issues in the state: Aug. 3: The Wildlife Control Unit received a call reporting two unprovoked dog attacks in Hampton Township. Sussex State Police refused to respond to the incidents. Division personnel have set several traps for this animal within the community; however, the bear avoids the culvert traps. Leg hold traps are not appropriate at most of the locations the bear visits. Residents have been advised to contact the Division's Wildlife Control Unit when the bear is seen in hopes that division personnel may capture the animal by free range darting or lethal shooting. Aug. 3: The Wildlife Control Unit received a call reporting a black bear had broken into a resident's kitchen in the Highland Lakes Community. The Vernon Township Police Department responded but were unable to euthanize the bear due to a large human crowd that had gathered. The homeowner indicated that two bears (one female and one male) had broken into the kitchen several times over the course of the weekend of July 29-Aug. 1. Division personnel set a trap for this incident. Aug. 3: The Wildlife Control Unit received a call reporting a black bear attempting to gain entry through a resident's screened windows in Wantage Township. Division personnel did not set a trap for this incident due to the resident leaving on vacation for two weeks. Aug. 5: The Wildlife Control Unit received a call reporting a black bear had killed a rabbit in Ogdensburg Borough. The resident refused a trap at this time. Aug. 6: The Wildlife Control Unit received a call from a resident in the Highland Lakes Community of Vernon Township that a bear had entered their kitchen through a window. This is likely to be the same bear that has broken into several homes in the Highland Lakes Community in the past few weeks. Several traps are already set for this bear. Aug. 7: The Wildlife Control Unit received a call reporting a bear had entered a resident's screened in porch in the Laurel Lakes Community of Vernon Township. The bear entered the same resident's home and entered their car Aug. 9. Division personnel set a trap for this incident. Aug. 7: The Wildlife Control Unit received a call reporting a black bear had attempted to break into a car at a campsite in Stokes State Forest, Sandyston Township. The bear was observed attempting to lift the door handle and striking the hood of the car. The bear did gain entry into the car. Aug. 8: The Wildlife Control Unit received a call concerning a black bear that entered a screened porch through a screened door in the Laurel Lakes Community of Vernon Township. The bear is believed to have also entered a neighbor's home and car on Aug. 9. Aug. 8: The Wildlife Control Unit received a call reporting a black bear had entered a screened in porch to obtain food in the Highland Lakes Community of Vernon Township. Vernon Police chose to aversively condition the bear as opposed to killing the animal. According to the DEP Policy Concerning Category I black bear behavior Vernon Police should have euthanized this Category I bear. Aug. 8: The Wildlife Control Unit received a call reporting a black bear entering a garage in the Highland Lakes Community of Vernon Township. The resident has had trouble with this same bear opening his garage in July. The bear opened the garage door to obtain garbage. Division personnel have not set a trap for this incident. Aug. 8: The Wildlife Control Unit received a call reporting a black bear had entered a resident's basement in the Highland Lakes Community. The bear entered through a basement window to eat garbage. Vernon Police chose to aversively condition the bear as opposed to killing the animal. Aug. 9: The Wildlife Control Unit received reports from the Vernon Township Police Department that at least one black bear had broken into residents' homes and a car in the Highland Lakes and Laurel Lakes Communities, Vernon Township. The Vernon Township Police Department responded but were unable to locate the bear. Police officials stated that a female bear with cubs of the year and a large male caused the damage over the course of the weekend of Aug. 7-8. Aug. 10: The Wildlife Control Unit received a call reporting a black bear had entered a tent at a camp for underprivileged children in Montague Township. The bear was seen entering the tent where children stay and take one of the children's backpacks. Division personnel set a trap for this incident. On Aug. 13 the bear returned to the camp; division personnel were in the area and were able to euthanize the bear once it left the confines of the camp.